Joss Delage

New car!!!

36 posts in this topic

Taking a run-down engine from the junk yard and rebuilding it so that it could run like new on a chassis was a prideful accomplishment.

I second!

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"Modern" cars in the 1950s were considered long-lasting if they reached 100,000 miles. Over 200,000 is very common now if the body or frame doesn't rust out first.

I often think of this, yet wonder if we will see today's cars on the road, (like my Zephyr) half a century from now . In particular I'm thinking of the computer management systems; these may not be able to be replaced. While it is nice to reap the benefits of computer technology, we put ourselves on the end of a technological limb, and should that limb fail, we will be stranded. Computer parts are not always available for older cars because the technology has evolved. It's like looking for the parts for an Apple2.

50 years! I'll be glad to get 20 years out of the 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe we just bought a few months ago, precisely for the reason you mentioned, i.e. the computer technology becoming antiquated -- and then -- no parts. The price was 25K (which is 5 to 10K less than the most similar cars made by manufacturers with better reputations). Since the economy has gone into the toilet, I'd guess that the 2009s are even cheaper, and they're slightly improved. In any case, the price we paid seems like a lot to me, so the car not lasting because of antiquated computer technology is a big concern.

Maybe that's the least of our worries, but I suspect that it will be the computer-related parts that will eventually be hardest to replace, as Arnold predicts. I suppose that regardless of its computer technology, it could otherwise be just a piece of junk, (Hyundai and all). Its a top of the line one, and seems nice so far, since it's still new; but we are taking the risk that Hyundai's quality really has improved a lot (as they say it has), because the other comparable mid-sized SUVs were significantly more expensive, and we needed a practical hauler that will last, and which also has a quiet comfortable ride.

The Honda and Toyota SUVs in the same price-range were smaller and had a crappy ride compared to this one, and the other SUVs more comparable in size, performance, and features were just too expensive. I only hope we haven't bought an expensive piece of garbage.

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Something similar has happened with Porsche's somewhat recent liquid cooled, flat-six engines. The factory simply offers rebuilt engines instead of exhaustive parts options. The plan seems to be offer these replacement rebuilds for about 14 years from the first year the motor in question was introduced. The main problem with this approach is that the core of Porsche's customer base tends to hold on to these cars for several decades. The other problem is that many owners like keeping their Porsches original, ie, maintaining the engine, transmission and chassis of a given car together throughout its life.

What to do...

In stepped the American aftermarket, with proprietary parts and the necessary expertise to keep these engines going, saving customers a ton of money while allowing them to keep their heirlooms "original."

I'd expect a cottage industry to spring up and offer repair services and upgrades for the ECUs in the tens of millions of cars in circulation today. Personally, and as ewv said recently, I'd be more worried about fuel availability/compatibility. (Example: Some of Porsche's best releases came in the early 1970s. Though these cars can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, they cannot cope with today's readily available fuels. While owners have options, Porsches were -- and sort of still are -- designed "just so." Therefore, replacing the mechanical fuel injection system or the carburetors on some of these classics with bolt on fuel injection systems that are designed specifically for these classics, while OK, isn't a serious option for those who want the original, and often better experience when they drive their spectacular cars.)

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"Modern" cars in the 1950s were considered long-lasting if they reached 100,000 miles. Over 200,000 is very common now if the body or frame doesn't rust out first.

I often think of this, yet wonder if we will see today's cars on the road, (like my Zephyr) half a century from now . In particular I'm thinking of the computer management systems; these may not be able to be replaced. While it is nice to reap the benefits of computer technology, we put ourselves on the end of a technological limb, and should that limb fail, we will be stranded. Computer parts are not always available for older cars because the technology has evolved. It's like looking for the parts for an Apple2.

50 years! I'll be glad to get 20 years out of the 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe we just bought a few months ago, precisely for the reason you mentioned, i.e. the computer technology becoming antiquated -- and then -- no parts. The price was 25K (which is 5 to 10K less than the most similar cars made by manufacturers with better reputations). Since the economy has gone into the toilet, I'd guess that the 2009s are even cheaper, and they're slightly improved. In any case, the price we paid seems like a lot to me, so the car not lasting because of antiquated computer technology is a big concern.

Maybe that's the least of our worries, but I suspect that it will be the computer-related parts that will eventually be hardest to replace, as Arnold predicts...

The 50 years Arnold refers to pertains to cars of interest to collectors or hobbyists with a specific interest in keeping the car as a "classic" or "antique". No car has ever gone for 50 years with regular use at normal speeds in all kinds of weather and normal maintenance. A new car may go for 20 years if it is carefully maintained and does not accumulate a lot of miles, but by the time it start to go bad, there is a lot more involved than the relatively inexpensive electronics. Cars today are a lot more complex across the board, and are too expensive to repair past a certain point, well before electronic parts become unavailable at all. It remains to be seen what happens with the few current cars that remain with some kind of special interest, and what collectors manage to do about re-manufacturing replacement electronics -- assuming that there is enough civilization left at all at that point to even consider such non-essential interests.

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I'd expect a cottage industry to spring up and offer repair services and upgrades for the ECUs in the tens of millions of cars in circulation today. Personally, and as ewv said recently, I'd be more worried about fuel availability/compatibility. (Example: Some of Porsche's best releases came in the early 1970s. Though these cars can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, they cannot cope with today's readily available fuels. While owners have options, Porsches were -- and sort of still are -- designed "just so." Therefore, replacing the mechanical fuel injection system or the carburetors on some of these classics with bolt on fuel injection systems that are designed specifically for these classics, while OK, isn't a serious option for those who want the original, and often better experience when they drive their spectacular cars.)

For older classics like the MGs fuel compatibility began to be a problem with the elimination of leaded gas, let alone today's ethanol mixes. It takes more than replacement carburetion systems to contend with that because the new politically correct fuels eat the metal. Even more seriously is the agenda to prohibit the internal combustion engine entirely.

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Taking a run-down engine from the junk yard and rebuilding it so that it could run like new on a chassis was a prideful accomplishment.

I second!

What I described was what is involved just to drive an old English sports car :D -- also a "prideful accomplishment". The same goes for antiques from an earlier period. I still remember when I was in college driving an uncle's antique Model A Ford with no syncromesh in the transmission, a mixture control on the steering wheel, and non-hydraulic mechanical brakes that had to be adjusted at least once a week -- and the adventure I had driving it down a hill into an intersection in the town when they had not been adjusted. :D

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I suppose that regardless of its computer technology, it could otherwise be just a piece of junk, (Hyundai and all). Its a top of the line one, and seems nice so far, since it's still new; but we are taking the risk that Hyundai's quality really has improved a lot (as they say it has), because the other comparable mid-sized SUVs were significantly more expensive, and we needed a practical hauler that will last, and which also has a quiet comfortable ride.

Hyundia have come a long way, and to me, seem serious about quality. From what I've seen, their products are world class in their price range. Compared with the cars available 30 years ago, they would be top of the line. Over here they have a 5 year warranty, more than the the likes of BMW would dare. You have no need for concern that I can see.

I also drive the last of the classic Saab 900s, made in 1993, and hope to keep this wonderful icon as long as I can. Fortunately, because it's design originated in 1968, it's computer controls are minimal. Since Saab has been owned by GM these last 15 years, it's future is even shakier than it's owners.

The right hand image was the Special Performance version I owned in Canada.

3000510545_706304bbe7_m.jpg3001425281_349948b140_m.jpg2936410285_926b35845d_m.jpg

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I also drive the last of the classic Saab 900s, made in 1993, and hope to keep this wonderful icon as long as I can.

3000510545_706304bbe7_m.jpg3001425281_349948b140_m.jpg2936410285_926b35845d_m.jpg

I drove a 900 Turbo once. What a fun GT that was!

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It takes more than replacement carburetion systems to contend with that because the new politically correct fuels eat the metal.

All I've ever heard on this is that soft metal items like valve guides and the plungers of fuel pumps get eaten up. Is it more than "just" bronze and brass parts that suffer?

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It takes more than replacement carburetion systems to contend with that because the new politically correct fuels eat the metal.

All I've ever heard on this is that soft metal items like valve guides and the plungers of fuel pumps get eaten up. Is it more than "just" bronze and brass parts that suffer?

Yes. The alcohol accelerates wear by inhibiting lubrication, it absorbs water which causes corrosion, and it directly attacks non-metallic parts.

Here is one summary:

16. Keep your engine well tuned and lubricated and follow the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule.

Replace parts that are not resistant to alcohol,

Plastic and rubber parts and hoses are most vulnerable. Fuel system and pumps, piston and carburetor and timing may need changes to be compatible.

Older engines often contain parts not designed to resist ethanol/alcohol.

19. Many types of engines are not designed for the use of alcohol fuel. This may include older cars and outboards, lawn and other small gas-powered equipment.

Only during the past 5-10 years, have the manufacturers' re-designed engines, when necessary, to be compatible with E-10 gas.

And this link describes engine damage:

Note: The list below does not include all documented damage attributed to E10 gasoline use. We have chosen to include only the most common damage/problems, based on verifiable reports and resources.

E10 Parts Damage:

Examples of reported damage, determined to be caused by E10 fuel.

1. Wear and damage of internal engine parts.

2. Damage to metal, rubber, and plastic parts of fuel system.

3. Corrosion of metal parts in fuel system and engine.

4. Deterioration of elastomers and plastic parts.

5. Deterioration of non-metallic materials.

6. Fuel permeation through flexible fuel lines.

7. Drying, softening, stretching and/or cracking of rubber hoses, seals and other rubber components.

8. Oxygen sensor damage.

9. Damage or premature disintegration of fuel pump.

10. Carburetor damage, including clogging.

11. Dirty and clogged fuel filters.

12. Clogging and plugging of fuel injectors.

13. Destruction of certain fiberglass fuel tanks.

14. Removal or fading of paint and varnish (both internal and external parts of engine).

15. Piston/bore failure through knock/pre-ignition.

16. Piston ring sticking.

17. Unsuitable ignition timing resulting in ignition failure.

18. Gumming-up of fuel injectors, carburetors, etc. due to release of accumulated deposits in engine from ethanol alcohol's solvent properties.

E10 Drivability Issues:

1. Engine performance problems.

2. Hard starting and operating difficulty.

3. Hesitation and lack of acceleration.

4. Stalling, especially at low speeds.

Ethanol Gasoline - General Problems/Issues:

1. Phase separation (P/S) of gasoline.

2. Water contamination (W/C) of gasoline.

3. Attract, absorb and hold moisture in fuel tank.

4. Increased occurrence of lean, water-diluted fuel.

5. Vapor lock or fuel starvation.

6. Drop in octane (after water absorption, P/S and W/C occurs).

7. Decreased fuel efficiency and mpg.

8. Decreased life cycle of parts and engine.

9. Decreased shelf life of gasoline.

This article is about small engines but also pertains to older car engines.

Benjamin Mallisham, owner of a lawnmower repair shop in Tuscaloosa, Ala., said at least 40 percent of the lawnmower engines he repairs these days have been damaged by ethanol.

“When you put that ethanol in here, it eats up the insides or rusts them out,” Mallisham said. “All the rubber gaskets and parts — it eats those up.”

...

Here’s what happens: In smaller engines, ethanol can create a chain reaction of events that end up clogging valves and rusting out small metal parts — including, crucially, carburetors.

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